Nunley Sets Kentucky Record With 10-0 Start

Former Soddy-Daisy Star Has 2.16 ERA

Thursday, March 7, 2013 - by special report to chattanoogan.com

LEXINGTON, Ky. – For the third consecutive week since entering the rankings on Feb. 12, the University of Kentucky softball team has moved up in both collegiate softball polls to No. 15 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 and No. 17 in the USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association Top 25, it was announced Tuesday.

Kentucky’s top-15 posting in this week’s ESPN.com/USA Softball poll ties the highest ranking by the outlets in school history. The Wildcats were also ranked 15th nationally by ESPN.com/USA Softball on April 26, 2011. The highest ranking in school history was 13th in the 2012 USA Today/NFCA preseason rankings. All national rankings have come during the tenure of sixth-year head coach

ukathletics.com/sports/w-softbl/mtt/rachel_lawson_363819.html">Rachel Lawson.

UK began the season receiving votes in both polls before entering the rankings for the first time on Feb. 12 at No. 22/24. The Wildcats inched up to No. 20/21 the following week before entering the top 20 in both polls last week at No. 17/19.

The move up the rankings comes after UK went undefeated in consecutive tournaments for the first time in school history. The Wildcats went 3-0 in the Coke Zero Spartan Classic two weeks ago before posting a 5-0 mark in the Under Armour Invitational last weekend. The eight-game winning streak – which ties the longest in school history – moved UK to 16-3 on the year, which is the best record UK has ever had 19 games into a season. The previous mark was 15-4 by the 2011 squad.

Kentucky has earned the strong start against a trying schedule, playing eight of its 19 games against team that are currently ranked or receiving votes in either poll. UK has four wins over currently ranked teams in No. 6/6 California, No. 16/19 Washington, No. 19/18 Stanford and No. rv/23 Oregon State. The Wildcats have also defeated USC Upstate, who is receiving votes in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll and USF, who is receiving votes in both polls. Cal and USF were participants in the 2012 Women’s College World Series.

The Wildcats’ three losses this season have come to No. 1/2 Oklahoma, No. 3/3 Arizona State and unranked Portland State.

Kentucky’s schedule does not get easier as the Wildcats begin Southeastern Conference action this weekend against Ole Miss. The Wildcats are scheduled to face eight teams that are either ranked or receiving votes in either poll, spanning 19 games. UK will play three-game sets against No. 2/1 Alabama, No. 4/4 Florida, No. 7/5 Missouri, No. 12/12 LSU and Mississippi State, who is receiving votes in both polls. The Wildcats will also have a home-and-home series with No. 13/13 Louisville and single-game contests against No. 25/25 North Carolina and Iowa, who is receiving votes in both polls.

The SEC is well represented in the rankings with seven teams in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 and eight teams in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25. Alabama, Florida, Texas A&M, Missouri and Tennessee are in the top 10 in both polls, while LSU is 12th in both polls and Georgia is 24th in the USA Today/NFCA poll and receiving votes in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll. Mississippi State is receiving votes in both polls.

For the latest on UK softball, follow "@UKSoftball" on Twitter or like Kentucky Softball on Facebook.

(NOTE: Throughout the release, the ESPN.com/USA Softball ranking is listed first, followed by the USA Today/NFCA ranking.)

Nunley Sets School Record with 10-0 Start: University of Kentucky freshman pitcher Kelsey Nunley from Soddy-Daisy High School, is off to an impressive start to her collegiate career with a 10-0 record, becoming the first player in school history to start a season 10-0 in the circle.

Nunley leads the Wildcats with a 2.16 earned-run average this season in a team-high 68 innings pitched with 55 strikeouts. The native of Soddy Daisy, Tenn., has five complete games and one shutout on the year and has allowed only 21 earned runs. In her six starts this season, Nunley is 6-0 with a 1.23 ERA, throwing 40 innings with 37 strikeouts and only seven earned runs.

The rookie hurler is coming off a strong showing in the Under Armour Invitational, where she went 3-0 with a 1.94 ERA. Nunley threw 21.2 innings for the Wildcats over the weekend, allowing six earned runs with 18 strikeouts.

Nunley’s wins have come against stiff competition this season, as she has earned wins against highly ranked Stanford, Washington and Oregon State. The freshman also won against San Diego State and USC Upstate, who both were receiving votes earlier in the year.

Nunley has earned the 10-0 start in just 13 appearances, shattering the previous school-best win-loss record in 13 appearances or less. Current UK student assistant coach Chanda Bell, who holds nearly every career pitching record in school annals, went 8-3 in 13 appearances her freshman season in 2009, while current junior pitcher Ellen Weaver is the only other Wildcat to go undefeated after 13 appearances in the circle, posting a 6-0 record to start the 2011 season.

(E-mail Stan Crawley at wscrawley@earthlink.net)

.


Lookouts Fall To Generals Saturday, 7-4

Jackson, Tenn.  - Slugging first baseman Kevin Cron homered and the Jackson Generals brought home a 7-4 victory over Chattanooga to 4,896 fans on Saturday night.  Things got off to a great start for Chattanooga. Nick Gordon led off the game with a base hit and later came around to score. By the time Kohl Stewart took the hill he had a 2-0 lead, and he even ... (click for more)

Lee Softball Drops Doubleheader To No. 12 West Florida

The Lee softball team saw its bats silenced by the red hot pitching staff of the No. 12 West Florida Argonauts as they dropped both games of Saturday's Gulf South Conference doubleheader. The losses drop the Lady Flames to 19-12 in league play and 33-16 overall. The win propels the red hot Argonauts to 22-9 in the GSC and 38-12 overall.  The two teams will wrap up the ... (click for more)

Severe Thunderstorms Cause Damage On Signal Mountain; Widespread Power Outages Reported

Severe thunderstorms that came through around  7:30 p.m.  brought trees down on Signal Mountain, and widespread power outages were reported. Two homes that had damage were at  205 Sunnybrook, with eaves and gutter damage, and  601 Dunsinane Road, with major damage to the roof line and a tree fell through the living room area. No injuries were ... (click for more)

Rescuers Called Out After Male Hits Head After Fall From Rope Swing; He And Companions Trapped On One Side Of The Creek

Rescue crews were setting up a safety line at the first creek crossing at the Pocket Wilderness at the foot of Mowbray Mountain after a male was injured on Saturday night and he and his companions were blocked by high water. Around 7:30 p.m. , a 911 call was made reporting the male had fallen from a man-made rope swing and hit his head on the rocks below at the Blue Hole ... (click for more)

Whatever Happened To The People's Game Warden?

Earlier this year a Chattanoogan.com article published a Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency  (TWRA) Wildlife Officer encouraging readers to turn in anyone keeping or caring for an orphaned raccoon, squirrel, bunny or deer, because it may have rabies or pose a danger to some fictitious person.   In another  article, the TWRA Officer invaded a girl's home, seized ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Einstein Explains Insanity

In September of 2002, a detailed study of “Tennessee Schools on Notice” was prepared by the state’s Office of Education Accountability. This was when Senator Bob Corker was the Mayor of Chattanooga and it proves, pretty thoroughly I might add, that after millions upon millions of extra dollars have been poured down the collective drains at schools such as Orchard Knob, Clifton Hills, ... (click for more)